February is Black History Month

Why Black History Month is Important – from the professionals at Lanark County Interval House

In 1995, the Canadian government declared February to be Black History Month. It declared the distinction not as a means to separate Black history, but instead, as a deliberate effort to help ensure its inclusion in overall Canadian history.

Canadian Black history went largely unrecorded by historians. And because the stories that were written had not been shared, the impact Canada’s black populations had on the building of our nation is largely unknown.

It’s important to recognize that the history highlighted throughout this month at various events, articles and blog posts have helped to shape the Canada we know today.

Make an effort this month to discover something new, gain more knowledge and enhance your understanding of the rich heritage that black citizens have had contributed to the fabric of our society and throughout the world.

Here are a few resources to help you in your journey.

Links to online resources:

Black History Canada – http://www.blackhistorycanada.ca/

The National Film Board Celebrates Black History – http://www.nfb.ca/playlist/nfb_celebrates_black_history_month/

This month in Canadian Herstory – February http://www.heroines.ca/history/thismonth.html

Ontario Black History Society – http://www.blackhistorysociety.ca/


2014 Black History Month Activities in Ottawa

February 3 – March 15, 2014 – Vernissage (Opening): February 6 at 6pm
The Lorraine Fritzi Yale Gallery, 1233 Wellington St. West (at Holland Ave.), Second floor
Merci Pour Les Souvenirs: Group Art Exhibition.
 Free to the public  – Everyone Welcome.
The works in this contemporary art exhibition engage with the idea and celebration of memory and experience.
Showcasing the works of 5 local artists, Dominique Dennery, Evelyn Duberry, Prea Zwarych, Marjorie Lubin and Jane Ladan. The paintings, photographs and sculptures will address the notion of identity and memory, exploring both the individual journey as well as the collective memory we all hold. With a focus on the idea of heritage and history and the importance it plays to the fundamental understanding the present “self”, this exhibition celebrates the month of Black History with an intriguing look into the memories, experiences and culture that shapes who we are. This exhibition challenges the artist to delve into their experiences and express the essence of memory in an exciting visual format. The title “Merci Pour Les Souvenirs” (thank you for the memories) evokes the idea of memory while addressing the idea of contemplation, acceptance and finally gratefulness, all of which help to create a healthy sense of identity and a space of resistance. Altogether this show will be a celebration of memory, of the self, of culture and of the black women and their art. Gallery Hours: Monday – Closed; Tuesday-Friday, 10am-6pm; Saturday, 10am-4pm; Sunday, Noon-4pm. Wheelchair access is provided with the elevator located in the theatre’s main lobby
Information: [email protected]

Thursday, February 6
Sweet Brown Sugar Baadasssss Black Power
Hintonburg Public House, 1020 Wellington Street West
7.00 p.m.
Organised by Art for Justice, the event is a celebration of the black counter-culture of the 1970s. The works presented in this vernissage hone in on icons of the Black Power and Black is Beautiful movementsJoin us and enjoy a night filled with  jazz, soul and funk music, a Black Power montage projection and some raw and funky art work.
Admission : Free.  Donations accepted for ALSO, a not-for-profit organisation promoting adult and family literacy.
Contact: [email protected].

Saturday, February 8
Bilingual breakfast talk on Nelson Mandela

2144, East Acres Rd, Ottawa, Ontario
9:00 am -11:30 am
Cover charge: $5
Talk presented by Adler Aristilde on the theme of “The legacy of Nelson Mandela: 10 key lessons of a life of personal achievement and refinement”. Mr. Aristilde considers himself primarily an admirer of Mandela who would like to see the vision and legacy of the South-African icon out-live his recent passing on December 5, 2013. For the speaker, Mandela’s spiritual belief had much to do with the way the leader conducted his life. Equally important, he believes that each one of us, not just the politicians, should endeavour to carry the fundamental message of Mandela in our respective life undertakings. Adler Aristilde has been a member of CEFO for six years. He holds a Master’s degree in public policy and public administration from Concordia University. He also completed a Bachelor’s Degree in political science and journalism at New York
University and Concordia. His work experience includes journalism and strategic policy. The speaker is fluent in French, English, and Creole.
[email protected],
613-749-6922 or 613-314-6804

Saturday, February 8
“Aint That Good News”
Ottawa Seventh-Day Adventist Church, 2200 Benjamin Ave. (free parking)
7:00 p.m.
Gospel concert celebrating the journey of peoples of African descent through music.  Presented by the Ottawa Seventh-day Adventist Church and Fourth Avenue Baptist Church. Admission: Free.  Light Reception to follow. Donations toward the Black Scholarship Fund will be accepted. Contact: http://www.ottawasda.org/
Pastor’s Office: 613-728-8178  Church: 613-728-3558

Saturday, February 8
7:30 PM
Centrepointe Theatre, Main stage – 101 Centrepointe Dr, Ottawa, ON K2G 5K7
CONCERT: Black Violin.
 Classically trained and incredibly versatile, these self-made artists are breaking down
musical barriers with their synergistic mix of classical, pop and hip hop music. Kev Marcus (violin) and Wil-B (viola) along with DJ TK are not afraid to step well outside the box of traditional music interpretations.
Recently voted top 5 new bands at SXSW, they’re no strangers to success. They’ve played alongside the likes of Alicia Keys, dazzled at the Presidential Inauguration and performed on the same bill with some of the industry’s biggest artists, including: Aerosmith, The Eagles, Stevie Nicks, Linkin Park, 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks, Kanye
West, Nas, Fabolous, Ciara, Fat Joe, Lil Wayne, and Tony Touch. TICKETS:  $28.75. Tel.: 613-580-2700

Saturday February 8 
A Roots Rock Reggae Night of Education, Entertainment & Grooving
Jim Robillard Centre, 1505 Carling Ave.
8.00 pm – 2.00 am
Organised by  Chalè Entertainment, this event pays tribute to reggae icons Jacob Millar, Sugar Minott & Delroy Wilson. Documentary presentation on the impact of reggae music, entertainment featuring local musicians followed by an Irie Vibes Dance. Admission:  $15 in advance, $20 at the door
Contact:  613-404-4190 / [email protected] Facebook:  ChaleEntertainment
Twitter:  Chale_Ent  Website: www.chaleentertainment.com

Sunday, February 9 
Black History Sunday Church Service Celebration

Fourth Ave Baptist Church, 109 Fourth Ave
10:45 a.m.
Featuring great gospel music by 4th Ave. Baptist and Ottawa Seventh-Day Adventist Churches combined choirs.
Admission: Free. Contact: Rev. Cheryle Hannah or Vanessa London Lumpkin  (613) 236-1804

Sunday, February 9
Reconciliation Day in Ottawa 2014

St. Albans Church, 454 King Edward Avenue, corner of Daly Avenue, Sandy Hill
Free admission
In 2014 Reconciliation Day is a Black History Month tribute to the vision and work of President Nelson Mandela of the Xhosa People and Elder William Commanda of the Algonquin People.
June Girvan – 613-241-0743, [email protected]

Sunday,  February 9
Children’s Stories in the Diaspora
Ottawa Public Library, Nepean Centrepointe Branch, Childrens Program Room 101 Centrepointe Drive
2.00 – 4.00 p.m.
Free Admission.
Listen to readers from the black community share children’s stories written by black authors from the diaspora. Books from the library will be on display and a local bookseller will have books for sale on site. All are welcome to attend this family event. A partnership between the Ottawa Public Library and Black History Ottawa.
Information:  [email protected]

Thursday,  February 13
“American Promise”
Longfields Davidson Heights
Secondary School, 149 Berrigan Drive
7.00 p.m.
A documentary 14 years in the making, “American Promise” provides a rare look into the lives of two middle class Black families as they navigate the ups and downs of parents and educating their sons. Public
Screening with Q&A to follow film. Sponsored by ONABSE and a network of local Black educators. Admission: $5 (light refreshments)
www.3dreads.com ;  [email protected]

Saturday, February 15
Honoring and Celebrating Our Pioneers

Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa
6pm to 8pm
A video documentary on the journey of some Black domestic workers who migrated to Ottawa from the Caribbean, from the late 1950s to the late 1970’s. produced by Jaku Konbit. Tickets: $10.00
Tel.: 613-567-0600
Website: www.jakukonbit.com

Sunday, February 16
7:00 PM
Dominion-Chalmers United Church – 355 Cooper St., Ottawa

TD Ottawa Jazz Festival presents: Blind Boys of Alabama. Featuring: Jimmy Carter – vocals; Eric McKinnie – vocals; Tracy Pierce – bass; Joey Williams – guitar; Peter Levin – organ; Ben Moore – vocals; Paul Beasley – vocals. The Blind Boys of Alabama are recognized worldwide as living legends of gospel music. Celebrated by The National Endowment for the Arts with a Lifetime Achievement Award, inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and winners of five Grammy Awards, they have attained the highest levels of achievement in a career that spans over 60 years and shows no signs of slowing down. As they’ve reached new levels of respect,
acclaim and commercial success, The Blind Boys of Alabama have maintained their mission to carry their message in new and inspiring ways. Their latest album, I’ll Find A Way was produced by Justin Vernon of Bon Iver. This performance is part of this year’s Ottawa Winter Jazz Festival which runs Feb. 14-16 in
partnership with Winterlude. TICKETS: $32 – $60. Info & tickets:http://ottawajazzfestival.com/index.php/artists/blind-boys-of-alabama-2/

Thursday, February 16
Following the footsteps of black gospel music
University of  Ottawa – Alumni Auditorium, main campus
6. p.m.
This bilingual show, that combines theater and music, originates directly from the black American gospel
repertoire. Regis Ferline, a well-known gospel singer from the national capital region, and her guest artists present a memorable evening filled with strong emotions and intended to spark the imagination of all.
Admission: $18-$20
Contact: Angeline Bernadin,   [email protected] 613 899-7078 ; Ferline Reigs r[email protected]  613 808 6885 FacebookFerline Regis

Monday, February 17
The Underground Comedy Railroad: Ottawa

Absolute Comedy, 412 Preston (heart of Little Italy)
8.30 p.m.
3rd annual Underground Comedy Railroad! The tour’s lineup is steadfast, accomplished Canadian comedians who are truly outstanding homegrown celebrities, who offer a remarkable perspective which is uniquely Canadian. The Cross Canada tour includes: Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Toronto,
Brampton, and finally, Montreal. The Ottawa comedians are: Rodney Ramsey, Andrew Searles, Daniel Woodrow, Keesha Brownie, and Trixx. Tickets: $15. Reserve your tickets by calling Absolute Comedy at 1-613-233-8000
Organizer contact: Andrew Searles [email protected]
9-city tour dates & ticket info: http://undergroundcomedyrailroad.com/2014-tour-dates/
:  The Underground Comedy Railroad
Twitter: @UComedyRailroad

Tuesday, February 18
Annual African, Caribbean and Black Health Symposium for Service Providers
River Jordan Ministry, 36 Bentley Ave, (Merivale & West Hunt Club)
 9.00 a.m. – 4.00 p.m.
Organised by Somerset Community Health Centre and partners.Theme:  Community Development in Practice: improving Service Delivery through  Partnerships. The ACB symposium for service providers brings together service providers who provide services to the African Caribbean and Black (ACB) communities in Ottawa to
deliberate on the health and social issues affecting the health and wellbeing of the ACB people in Ottawa and to explore how best service providers can work together to  improve service delivery to the ACB people. The symposium also provides service providers with the opportunity to network. Specifically the goals of the symposium include exploring ways
– a.    To improve the health outcomes of the  ACB communities
b.    To improve access to services by the  ACB communities
c.    To increase knowledge and awareness of the social determinants of health
d.    To improve service delivery through the Ottawa Service Providers’ Hub (OSPH) and to facilitate collaboration, sharing of resource and best practices
Admission: Free
Contact: Hector Addison  613-290-2556; 613-238-8214  x2291 [email protected]  www.swchc.on.ca

Tuesday, February 18
WORDS TO LIVE BY: The Great Black North.
6:30 Doors; 7pm – 9:30pm
PRESSED CAFE (750 Gladstone)

The Great Black North is a celebration of cultural heritage, Diversity, spoken word poetry, music, edutainment, literary & performing arts. This event showcases contributors to the new national anthology, The Great Black North: Contemporary African Canadian Poetry and is hosted by Jenna Tenn-Yuk for Captial Poetry Collective and co-editor Kevan Anthony Cameron for Black Dot Roots and Culture Collective.
Link to additional info: blackdotcollective.org
Contact: [email protected]

Friday, February 21 & Saturday, February 22
The Black Youth Conference #  BorderlessVisions Edition
Location: To be announced
Friday February 21: 8.30 a.m. – 4.00 p.m.
Saturday, February 22, “Dear Ottawa Project”:  11.00 a.m. – 4.00 p.m.
The BeMore Academy of 3Dreads and a Baldhead invite youth young adults and adults to the space to RE-imagine, RE-image and Rejoice in the power of our visions without boundaries and DECLARE that
we are enough to BE our visions fulfilled. This is a safe space of clearing designed to support, empower and inspire the “YOUth” in us all to overcome ANY and ALL challenges that may face us in being our vision fulfilled as we take a stand to  BeMoreCommUNITY!
Admission: $20 for Students, $25 for Young Adults and Adults
Contact: [email protected];  www.3dreads.com

Saturday, February 22
Speaking Black  Hockey

Alumni Auditorium, University of Ottawa, University Centre, Main Floor
6:30-9:00 p.m.
Organised by the Black Law Students Association of the University of Ottawa, and RevWord Productions,
with the generous support of” TD Presents Then and Now Black History Month Series – 2014 Program” in collaboration with the Black Artists Networks Dialogue. Speaking Black Hockey celebrates, though slam poetry and video, Black Canadian contributions to hockey. The event features Ottawa’s top spoken word slam poets, a screening of an ESPN documentary on Canada’s historic Coloured Hockey League, visual art by Black artists, and words from a rising young Ottawa area hockey star. Featured spoken word poets include Ottawa Legends Slam Champion Just Jamaal, spoken word troubadour John Akpata, and celebrated lyricist Doretta Charles, with a special video multimedia performance by recording artist, nth digri. The event is hosted
by CHUO 89.1FM radio host, Sarah Onyango. Historian and former St. Mary’s University hockey player, Bob Dawson, will present the video “Frozen Out,” an ESPN documentary on the Coloured Hockey League in the Maritimes, based on the book “Black Ice” by Darril and George Fosty. Speaking Black Hockey is also proud to present Nicholas Ngwafusi, who plays in the Central Canada Hockey League, along with talented Black visual artists who will be exhibiting their work.
Admission:  Free. Contact: Anthony Bansfield  613-219-2401 [email protected]

Saturday February 22
Global Community Alliance Gala Night & Award Ceremony

Sheraton Ottawa Hotel, 150 Albert Street
6.00 p.m. – 1.00 a.m. (Cocktails @ 6:00 p.m. and dinner @ 7:00 p.m.)
Admission: $65 per person (with complimentary cocktails). Advance tickets only.
An annual event to highlight the diversity within the Ottawa community and recognize individuals, associations, businesses and organizations that have made a significant difference within our diverse community.  Featuring a
keynote speaker, award recipients, and enlightening  entertainment for the evening.  We look forward to celebrating our fifth anniversary with you. Proceeds to be donated to Black History Ottawa. Information:
Yomi or Kelly Pratt   [email protected]  or  [email protected]   613-824-6392            

Sunday, February 23
Multicultural Extravaganza
The Ottawa Church of God, 1820 Carling Ave at Maitland
6.00 p.m.
Presented by the Ottawa Church of God. A reflection of our diverse church membership; this is to show-case performances, fashion show of various fashion worn in different parts of the world, storytelling of  traditions followed in various cultures, cultural arts display and much more.
Admission: Free. Contact:  Carol Campbell   613-729-3172  [email protected] ;http://www.ottawaocg.org/

3 Dreads Arts Education program
John  Akpata – 3Dreads and a Baldhead Poet in Residence [email protected]
Kalkidan Assefa – 3Dreads and a Baldhead Mixed Media Artist in Residence [email protected].
Both of our Art Educators are certified and trained to deliver programs through the Arts.  They are available throughout the month for schools, institutions, community organizations etc interested in engaging youth through the Arts.  Contact them directly for bookings and booking fees. www.3dreads.com
[email protected]